International Mother Language Day is observed annually on February 21. UNESCO hosted the inaugural observance as a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 7,000 languages are spoken worldwide, which is a significant figure given that some languages are more widely spoken and have greater documentation than others. It is highly probable that numerous ethnic languages, some of which are still spoken by small communities today, will become extinct in a few decades. This is why International Mother Language Day is so important, as it is part of a larger initiative to revive many communities linguistic heritage. Humans communicate emotions and thoughts through language. An infant learns to grasp everything through communication from the moment of his birth till his final breath.

Languages play an important role in the lives of the people. Therefore, International Mother Language Day is celebrated yearly to celebrate multilingualism and promote linguistic and cultural diversity across different countries. Even though some languages may have gained popularity worldwide, our native tongues greatly influence who we are. Languages are an extremely powerful tool that shapes our way of thinking, forms how we perceive the world and truly protects our cultural heritage. As our world changes quickly, people around the world joined together to create what is now known as International Mother Language Day (IMLD) to protect the linguistic diversity that exists.

Universe Public School is delighted to announce its enthusiastic participation in the celebration of International Mother Languages Day 2024. This momentous event, which is celebrated on February 21st around the world, is evidence of the rich cultural diversity that unites the people of the world. Our school strives to cultivate a profound understanding of the multitude of languages spoken by our kids and their families, acknowledging the relevance of linguistic heritage. The day will be marked with various activities, including language exhibitions, storytelling sessions, and cultural performances that showcase the linguistic tapestry within our school.

The Theme of International Mother Language Day 2024

The Theme of this day is “Multilingual Education- a Necessity to Transform Education.” It emphasizes the application of bilingual education policy and changes the environment for learning. The International Decade on Indigenous Languages (2022–2032), which strives to preserve indigenous languages and encourage their revitalization, and the Sustainable Development Goals for inclusive, high-quality education and lifelong learning are among the other objectives that this day seeks to accomplish.

What is the Significance of the Day 21 February?

There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world. That’s a lot. Unfortunately, though, a variety of languages—particularly those spoken by smaller populations—are in danger of being extinct. International Mother Languages Day focuses on saving these languages and keeping the unique traditions they carry. 21 February marks International Mother Languages Day which is celebrated to promote the use of mother languages. Mother tongue education is lacking in many nations. In today’s sensitive global circumstances, this day is also observed to promote learning through multilingual education and multilingualism. It also promotes the revitalization of languages that are on the verge of extinction.

History of International Mother Languages Day 

Since 2000, people all across the world have observed International Mother Language Day every year. It was first announced by UNESCO on November 17, 1999. It was formally acknowledged by the UN General Assembly later in 2002 when U.N. resolution 56/262 was adopted. It was an initiative in Bangladesh to celebrate International Mother Language Day. The anniversary of the Bangladeshi people’s struggle for the Bangla language’s recognition is also observed on February 21. The history of this dates back to 1947 when Pakistan was created. It included the two geographically distinct regions of East Pakistan and West Pakistan. These regions had strikingly different cultures and languages.

In the 1948 Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Dhirendranath Datta of East Pakistan proposed that Bangla be included among the national languages, alongside Urdu. This was the result of numerous protests, but to put an end to them, the Pakistani government banned public gatherings and demonstrations. Following this, the public and University of Dhaka students planned large-scale gatherings and demonstrations. The police even opened fire on these rallies. The plan put up by Rafiqul Islam was presented to the Bangladeshi parliament a long time after Bangladesh gained its independence. A formal proposal was also made to UNESCO by the Government of Bangladesh.

February 21 be proclaimed International Mother Language Day throughout the world to commemorate the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on this very day in 1952,” was the unanimous resolution of the 30th UNESCO General Assembly on November 17, 1999. Bangladeshis celebrate this day by visiting the Shaheed Minar, a monument built in memory of the Martyrs and its replicas to express their deep sorrow and pay their respects.

International Mother Languages Day Timeline 

  • 1948 (Urdu as Pakistan National Language): Despite Bangla being the most widely spoken language in East Pakistan, the Pakistani government has declared Urdu to be the national language.
  • February 21, 1952 (Fire on Rallies): Pakistani police shoot fire on protestors holding demonstrations calling for the inclusion of their mother tongue. 
  • January 9, 1998 (Letter to Kofi Annan): In a letter to Kofi Annan, Abdus Salam and Rafiqul Islam request that he establish International Mother Language Day and take action to preserve languages. 
  • 2008 (Year of Languages): The U.N. General Assembly establishes the International Year of Languages. 

Why International Mother Language Day is Important 

  • It Promotes Diversity: There are hundreds of different language-speaking cultures in the world. International Mother Language Day promotes cultural diversity. It allows people access to the various languages spoken throughout the world and a look into other civilizations. 
  • It Promotes Language Learning: It is usually advantageous to know multiple languages. You never know when you might need to speak another language. International Mother Language Day promotes multilingualism and encourages learning another language. 
  • It Preserves Old Languages: For simple conversation, language proficiency is required. We are unaware that many languages still exist, and they are rapidly disappearing. This day throws light on the many languages of the world and allows us to know ancient languages as well.

How to Observe International Mother Language Day 

  • Sign Up for a Language Class: Make an appointment to learn a foreign language on International Mother Language Day. Any language could be used, including Hindi, French, Mandarin, and Spanish. You’ll be shocked at the sheer number of languages spoken worldwide.
  • Speak in your Native Language: Try, at least with your family, to communicate entirely in your native tongue on International Mother Language Day. We frequently find ourselves speaking incoherently and losing track of basic vocabulary in our mother tongue.  
  • Teach a Language: Are you already multilingual? You might instruct a friend or member of your family in a foreign language using your abilities. This will also help you to brush up on your knowledge and master the language perfectly.

How to Celebrate International Mother Language Day 2024

  • Join Efforts: Participate in Language Day by lending a hand at cultural centers. It’s a fulfilling way to give back. 
  • Learn a Language: To respect and value diverse speech patterns, begin studying a new language. Though it might not be simple, it is an excellent place to start. 
  • Discover Language History: Discover the significance of languages in various cultures and how they have changed over time. There are many discussions and events during this time that provide interesting learning resources. 

5 Linguistic Facts About Mother Languages 

  • Indian Languages: The majority of Indian languages can be divided into four main categories: Indo-Aryan, Sino-Tibetan, Dravidian, and Afro-Asiatic.
  • Thousands of Languages: There are around 7,000 languages that exist across the globe. 
  • Papua New Guinea: At 840 languages, Papua New Guinea is home to the largest language diversity in the world. 
  • Languages Becoming Extinct: Around the world, approximately 2,400 languages are on the verge of extinction. 
  • English has the Most Words: The English language has the highest word count, with over 250,000 words.



What is International Mother Language Day?

A global celebration of linguistic and cultural variety, International Mother Language Day is observed on February 21st every year. Its goals include promoting mother tongues as a means of preserving cultural legacy and fostering understanding among people.

Why is International Mother Language Day celebrated?

International Mother Language Day is celebrated to preserve and promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. This day is observed in remembrance of the Bengali Language Movement, which served as the UN’s inspiration. The first International Moher Language Day was celebrated on 21 February 2000.

What is the theme of International Mother Language Day 2024?

The theme of this day is “Multilingual Education- a Necessity to Transform Education.”

Which is the first language in the world?

Sanskrit, or Devbhasha, is the oldest language in the world. It has been observed that Sanskrit is the source of inspiration for all European languages.

What is the hardest language to learn?

Some of the hardest languages to learn are Icelandic, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Hungarian, Finnish, Arabic, and Polish.